In a major breakthrough the Thane crime branch unit-1 has arrested a 53-year-old man and seized 12,000 gelatin sticks and 3,008 electronic detonators from his office and storeroom in Bhiwandi. The accused, a quarry contractor, had illegally stocked the explosive materials without having any permission from the collector or local authorities.
The Thane crime branch sleuths started questioning the firm officials who illegally gave the explosives to the accused.
The police said Ananda Bhilare, police constable posted with Thane crime branch, Unit 1 received information about the explosive material being stored at an office in Bhiwandi. Accordingly Krishna Kokani, senior police inspector, Thane crime branch,Unit 1 formed a team and raided the office of the accused identified as Gurunath Kashinath Mhatre, 53, at Mittal enterprise, Kharivali village in Bhiwandi. The raid was conducted on Monday, May 17.
The police team in the raid had found 11,400 gelatin sticks of solar industries company in 60 boxes weighing 25 kg each. Counting, a total of 1500 kilogram worth Rs 1.50 lakhs, three boxes of deccan power company with 200 sticks each box with a total of 600 gelatin sticks, total 75 kg worth Rs 7,500 were found. Similarly, 2508 detonators of solar industries company and deccan company's 500 detonators counting a total to 3008 detonators worth Rs 45,120 were recovered. The total cost for the gelatin sticks and electronic detonators count to Rs 2.02 lakhs.
Laxmikant Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Thane confirmed the arrested of Mhatre and said a case has been registered against him at Bhoiwada police station in Bhiwandi under section 286 (Negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance) of the Indian penal code and section 5 (Punishment for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances) of the explosive substance act, 1908. "The accused Mhatre is arrested and after producing in court he is remanded in police custody till May 22," added patil.
The police during investigation found that Mhatre is a material supplier and quarry contractor. "We found the explosive at his office and adjoining store room. He didn't have any permission to store it. We are further investigating as to how he scored the gelatin from the firm's name on the explosive," said Krishna Kokani, senior police inspector, Thane crime branch, Unit 1.
Further investigation in the case was carried out by Praful Jadhav, assistant police inspector,Thane crime branch who said, "A team comprising four police officers and 20 police constables carried out the raid on Monday. It was raining heavily, the complete day, but we kept our operation on and carried out the investigation till late evening," added Jadhav.
The crime branch sleuths had called the concerned officials from the two firms that have given the gelatins to the accused Mhatre. "The explosive storage needs permission from the collector to every other local authority. But Mhatre didn't have any one of the permission. Usually a quarry contractor having all permission is allowed to keep 20 boxes of gelatin sticks. But Mhatre was illegally keeping 63 boxes of gelatins sticks," said a police officer from the team.